Here is an application for mobile phones that is USEFUL, and does not require someone to download an program, opt-in to advertising messages, interact with a bar-code (that may or may not be readable in-store), hope they have a mobile phone that can do the functions required.....
Paypal Mobile had just launched a service that allows you to -
- send a payment to someone via a text message
- buy stuff via a text message; here's how that works - it’s called Text to Buy - Anytime you see Text to Buy next to something you want to buy—on a poster, in a magazine, at an event—you can securely order the item by text message. Use your phone to buy items like CDs, DVDs, books, electronics, accessories and much more. To use it, you text PayPal the item number, and they call you back to confirm the purchase. Done.
This is simple and it is therefore something we can use. Here's Oliver Starr's (mobile guru) take on PayPal Mobile.